Even Queen Elizabeth II Bowed to Princess Diana’s Casket, But 1 Royal Refused To
Princess Diana died following a car crash in Paris on Aug. 31, 1997. The days after her death were some of the worst times during Queen Elizabeth II‘s reign as the public was not happy with the radio silence from Buckingham Palace. On the day of Diana’s funeral though, the monarch surprised everyone when she chose to bow as her former daughter-in-law’s coffin went by. However, another royal who could have done the same refused to and that did not go noticed.
Read on to find out who that was and why that royal chose not to bow.
The queen and royal family were heavily criticized following Princess Diana’s death
When the news of Princess Diana’s death broke, the queen and the rest of the royal family were hundreds of miles went at their holiday home, Balmoral Castle, in Scotland. Much of the public became confused when a statement regarding the princess’s death was not immediately released. Some of that confusion turned to anger in the days following when the family did not return to London and refrained from making any statements about the tragedy.
When it was revealed that the family was carrying on with business-as-usual behavior including Queen Elizabeth taking Prince Wiliam and Prince Harry to church the morning after their mother had died, it was viewed as cold and rubbed many people the wrong way.
With the public outcry for the queen to show herself, the family finally returned to London on Sept. 5 and the monarch spoke during a live broadcast in which she paid tribute to her former daughter-in-law.
Queen Elizabeth bowed as Diana’s coffin passed, but who refused to?
The funeral for Princess Diana took place on Sept. 6, 1997. One of the images etched in the minds of many is of her two sons William and Harry, who were just 15 and 12 at the time, walking behind their mother’s coffin. Another is of the queen bowing as Diana’s coffin passed her, which was seen as the ultimate sign of respect from a woman who has no obligation to bow to anyone. It also came as a surprise considering everything that had happened between the royals and Diana leading up to her divorce from Prince Charles in 1996.
In the Italian documentary series Ulisse host Alberto Angela said: “It is known that before the queen, who is the symbol of national unity, everyone bowed. But that day, it is Elizabeth who bowed her head as a sign of respect for the passage of Diana’s coffin, the woman who more than anyone else had defied the conventions of the palace.”
One royal who was by Queen Elizabeth’s side but chose not to bow was Princess Margaret. The Countess of Snowdon didn’t seem to mind that thousands of onlookers and millions more at home were watching as she had been feuding with Diana and still held a grudge.
Express noted that “When Diana passed away in 1997, Margaret didn’t even bow her head in respect. Apparently she gave a lazy salute to the casket that has been compared to shooing away a fly.”
The shocking comment Princess Margaret made after Diana’s death
The queen’s sister used to be very close with the Princess of Wales but that changed following Diana’s separation from Prince Charles and her explosive Panorama interview.
Margaret didn’t show any sympathy or sadness after Diana died with her shocking comments. Craig Brown, who authored the book Ninety-Nine Glimpses of Princess Margaret, claimed that the countess called the public’s grief over Diana “hysteria.”
“She said the hysteria was rather like Diana herself… When she died she got everyone to be as hysterical as she was,” Brown wrote.
Five years after Diana’s death, Margaret died in her sleep following a stroke on Feb. 9, 2002.